Tragedy spurs Euell on to score fifth goal

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The Independent Online

Football has become more than just a game to Jason Euell in the last two months. Charlton's record £4m signing has used it as an escape from reality following the death of his baby daughter while his girlfriend was in labour. That tragedy occurred hours after his two-goal display in the 4-4 draw with West Ham on 19 November. Euell, 24, missed three matches, but has returned with success, citing a fresh outlook on his job.

He said: "You look at life with a whole new perspective after that because it is something that is short and you have to make the most of it. You have to make the most of each opportunity every time.

"You do want to put right things that go wrong, but there are some things that you can't. The football helps you get away from it because your mind isn't on certain circumstances and it is a way of dealing with things, having something else to concentrate on."

Against Aston Villa at The Valley tonight, he will be looking to score for a fifth consecutive Barclaycard Premiership match. He had a similar burst for Wimbledon this time last year, netting seven times in five matches. Now he is doing it in the Premiership, with half an eye on a World Cup place.

"I think when you are playing well you seem to be in the right place at the right time," he said. "No matter what age you are, if you have played for the Under-21s, the next step is the seniors. Obviously some time in the future, whether it be near or far, it is one of my ambitions I want to fulfil. I have to carry on playing well and if I don't make the World Cup, I will have to aim for the 2004 European Championships next."

Charlton's only squad change from last week's 4-1 hammering at Blackburn sees Luke Young return from suspension.

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